The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 16, 2014

Local candidates gear up for primary election

CLINTON — The campaign trail is heating up a little early this year for Iowa politicians as the primary election is on the horizon and many challengers await.

Three Republican primary races are causing those candidates to get their names and faces out to the voting public early.

”There’s a lot of people right now who are working internally setting up their organizations,” said Clinton County Republican Chairman Dan Smicker. “The candidates are going to do a lot more earlier because they’re going to have to run a campaign for the primary. It really is not common to have this many in the primary, but it is going to be fun.”

Two of the heavy primary races are taking place for Senate and Iowa House of Representative seats, but the third hits closer for local voters.

With two openings on the Clinton County Board of Supervisors, several county Republicans are jumping at the opportunity to join the board.

Lydia Whitman (Calamus), Dan Srp (Camanche), Lester Shields (Clinton), Kurt Olson (Grand Mound) and Shawn Hamerlinck (DeWitt) will all face off against one another at the primary to earn the Republican nomination for the two open seats.

”It’s great that we’ve got so many (local) people interested in serving,” Smicker said. “I think it’s very exciting and I think we’ve got a very respectable slate of candidates.”

The problem with having so many who are qualified running for office is the unlikelihood that voters will agree on the same two candidates to move forward to the General Election. In order for a candidate to earn the ballot berth, he or she must retain 35 percent of the popular vote.

If the party is unable to declare two clear winners with 35 percent of the vote, it will go back to the county convention where the party electorate will decide the final vote.

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